Dealing with Troll Bites

Hey RXCLP fans!

We posted it earlier on our Facebook page, but there is this wonderful article written by entrepreneur James Altucher about how to deal with haters. It’s a great read and great advice. We highly recommend it, especially if you have just been bitten by one of the trolls that live under the big bridge we call the internet.

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That said, Altucher’s article and many other anti-troll articles out there often give the same advice: delete the trolls’ comments, and ignore them. That is the BEST thing to do, of course. But the unfortunate thing is you still need to skim the trolls’ comments before you know they are troll comments that need to be deleted, and that’s when most people get their troll bites.

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If you are going to do anything creative and share it on the internet, you will inevitability be bitten by a troll. In light of this, we would like to offer a piece of wisdom we’ve gained recently.

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To do a project like, “Street Fighter: The Heart of Battle”, you have to spend money, take risks, depend on others, and more. In other words, you have to step out of your comfort zone. But, as we dwelt on our own creative struggle, it took us a while to realise, for good or ill, we were making others uncomfortable too.

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For fun, let’s imagine the Ryu X Chun-Li Project project succeeds–completely.  CAPCOM decides to make Ryu/Chun-Li part of Street Fighter official canon. A line of Ryu/Chun-Li products is released. We get a Ryu/Chun-Li animated movie! And we see the characters get together in the the final episodes of Joey Ansah’s web series. Ryu/Chun-Li awesomeness runs wild across the entertainment world! Woohoo!

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All the people out there who enjoy Ryu and Chun-Li independent of each other, all the people who have drawn pictures of Ryu and Chun-Li paired with some other character, all of them will have to accept the change. People don’t like change. It takes them outside their comfort zone.

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When trolls who do not want to see Ryu and Chun-Li together get wind of our progress, they do so with the very human understanding that hard quality work by someone else often brings change–change they may be subject too. And this upsets them, makes them imagine life outside their comfort zone–a place where Ryu and Chun-Li are different–and that is a place they do not want to be. So, they lash out. Trolls like sleeping under their bridge and waking up to see things on their bridge are exactly as they were before they went to sleep. Disturb them and their world even a little and they growl at you and bite.

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But this trolling, ironically, is good news.

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No. we’re not kidding.

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Assuming you haven’t let the trolls defeat you, the next time you’re out with friends you might want to show them your troll bite scars because, like it or not, for an entrepreneur troll bites are a measure of progress. You are getting bitten because your work is making the trolls–real people–upset. They are worried you will complete or have completed the task you have set yourself, and, contrary to what you might believe, probably envious of your ability to work and get work done too.

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Whether your work is ultimately for good for for ill, history will decide, but a troll making an effort to bite you is a loud and clear message that your work IS getting done, your idea is becoming tangible. Take a look around. The internet bridge is filled with the wandering ghosts of so many unfinished ideas, ideas whose owners were unable to withstand the troll bites and other challenges that come with crossing the internet bridge with finished work.

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But no matter how bad the troll bites get, take it from a team of people who have braved the bridge and gotten to the other side. The trolls will come out to bite you, but if you delete them and keep moving forward, the bites WILL heal and you WILL leave the trolls behind. Why? Because there are few things more awesome and spirit-recharging than seeing an idea to completion. As for the trolls, as long as they continue to spew their hurtful words, they will always be stuck in their place under the internet bridge in a perpetual darkness of their own creation. And when you cross that finish line, they will suffer because they realise the taste they got of you will likely be the closest they ever come to actually tasting success.

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And one last thing, trolls only know if they got a taste of you if you reply to them, so… don’t. Don’t feed the trolls. Read James Altucher’s article, watch this, or,  better yet, read our book instead. 😉

More next time!

ryuxchunliproject@gmail.com

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A Prototype is Worth More Than Any Amount of Words.

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Two years ago today we started the Ryu X Chun-Li Project Facebook page and promised we would produce the first Ryu/Chun-Li graphic novel for the English-speaking world. We’re thrilled to say we have kept our promise. And you will all get to enjoy our work along with the amazing art of over fifty different, extremely generous, and talented artists on Valentine’s Day, 2015.

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We have read the main story in our graphic novel so many times now, hunting for errors, and the story never fails to excite us! Our book is the Ryu/Chun-Li story we’ve waited almost 30 years to read. It answers every big question we’ve had about the Street Fighter universe! But are we satisfied? No. Not yet. There is still the matter of taking a hard copy of our book to CAPCOM JAPAN and making our case for Ryu/Chun-Li. We think about our approach and discuss what we will say almost daily now.

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But we cannot go to CAPCOM until we collect the world’s reaction to our book post-launch. And of course even more powerful than the public’s reaction are all the people who get their names in our book prior to launch. The public can be fickle, but every person who has their name in our book for a monetary, art, or mini-comic donation has made a more potent promise to CAPCOM that if CAPCOM were to produce a Ryu/Chun-Li product of quality, these people would buy it. Companies like CAPCOM make decisions based on risk vs. reward. Your name in our book lowers CAPCOM’s risk and helps them see the reward in investing in Ryu/Chun-Li.

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And isn’t it great to finally have a Ryu/Chun-Li book to support? Isn’t it great to have a team of true hard-working Ryu/Chun-Li fans to get behind or even team up with? Yes, of course! And we hope it is in part because we have learned a lesson that so many people with ideas have yet to learn: a prototype is worth more than any amount of words.

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Back when we were young and foolish, unwise in the ways of business, we used to think words–an e-mail to a company employee full of our ideas here, a post on the company social media page full of our ideas there–would be enough to get what we wished from a company, we just had to keep doing it and be patient.

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The inconvenient truth is unless you have some hard work to show a company, work that is both mentally and visually stimulating–And hey, we’re not just talking pages of black and white digital text here–YAWN!, it is almost an absolute that the company you are trying to get to pay attention to your ideas or wants is not even going to give you consideration, save perhaps to send you a noncommittal “thanks for your feedback” e-mail. No, If you really want a big company’s attention, you need to be more than a text-typing fan who may or may not buy their products. You need to make a prototype and you need to get a meeting–face to face! And then…maybe you’ll succeed.

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A great example of a prototype with a face to face meeting that led to fan success is the game Street Fighter X Megaman. The programmer, Seow Zong Hui, had an early build of the game ready to demo for CAPCOM before he even talked to them. When Seow Zong Hui was ready, he approached CAPCOM at EVO 2012. Seeing Seow Zong Hui’s work, CAPCOM welcomed him, paid to finish his game, and released the game for free on their website. Other factors came into play with Seow Zong Hui’s success, of course (e.g. both Street Fighter’s and Megaman’s anniversaries were back to back at the time and CAPCOM had nothing planned for the latter). But the fact remains if Seow Zong Hui had just sent CAPCOM an e-mail asking them to make a Street Fighter X Megaman game, or pages of text-only documents outlining his concept, we would definitely not have the game to play today. You want a company to make a game for you? Produce a prototype of the game yourself and demo it for them.

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If you need even more proof presenting people with something tangible is more effective than digital words, check out this video! In it Ben Singer from screwattack.com’s show Death Battle receives a handwritten piece of fan mail from a boy who watches the Death Battle videos. Ben’s reaction to the handwritten letter proves our point beautifully:

This is nice. This is great! I mean we get comments on the internet all the time. But it’s always, you know, it’s different and charming to get something actually written from a fan. And, y’know, that means they actually put some effort into it, especially to figure out what our address was and, y’know, write this out to me…. Seriously, it’s always very nice and kind of our fans to write in to us, and it makes us feel like we’re actually doing something for other people rather than, y’know, for all the complainers and stuff, and that’s always wonderful, y’know, to read stuff like this. So, I’m going to keep it in this desk somewhere.

The handwritten fan letter clearly meant something not only to Ben, but to others at screwattack.com for them to go to the trouble of recording and posting Ben’s reaction to it. Plus, Ben really paid attention to the writer’s (and the writer’s friend’s) ideas for future Death Battle videos, reading them out one at a time! Sending a company something they can hold in their hands that is also attractive to read is a great way to get a company to notice you, especially now in a world where e-mail and internet comments are so prevalent and writing a letter is almost quaint. Putting a hard copy of our book in the hands of the CAPCOM JAPAN staff, a book bursting with an amazing story, pieces of art, and mini-comics from all over the globe, will very likely get a similar positive reaction like Ben’s. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned during our sixteen years in Japan, it is that the people here love thank you gifts. And that is how we will introduce a hard copy of our book to CAPCOM: as a thank you gift to them for everything they have made for us–which our book very much is! And then we’ll discuss the petition part of our book.

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But as wonderful as the stories of Street Fighter X Megaman and screwattack.com’s fan letter are, sadly even if you have a prototype, and a company likes it, it is still very possible you are going to have to fight for what you want, with no guarantees of success, while the company watches. Even after the success of Street Fighter: Legacy, and face to face meetings with CAPCOM, producer and director Joey Ansah had to compete with other studios for the rights to make a full Street Fighter series. CAPCOM did not just see Street Fighter: Legacy‘s success and hand the rights over to him:

“I guess I hoped that after the success of Legacy, Capcom would have been like ‘You guys clearly love the brand and treat it with care and class and we’re going to give you the rights to go ahead and do it.’ But that wasn’t the case – my producer Jacqueline Quella and I had to fight against other studios to get the license.”  –Joey Ansah in an interview with Nerdist.com

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And, on a final note, remember the way CAPCOM disappointed R. Mika fans when they revealed Decapre for Ultra Street Fighter IV by having M. Bison blast R. Mika away? Lots of people wrote in to have R. Mika in the game. Even Yoshinori Ono himself tried to get R. Mika to be included:

Even back in the original Street Fighter IV, I really wanted Rainbow Mika. I tried to start a whisper campaign. Talk to some journalists about her to show the development team, ‘Hey look, people are talking about Rainbow Mika’. It didn’t work. —Yoshinori Ono in an interview with Shaknews.com

And, Ono, while 100% not responsible for the final decision, knew the fan reaction to Decapre’s reveal was going to be negative. He stated the fact on his Twitter account: “5th character will disappoint fans.”  And still CAPCOM went ahead with adding Decapre to Ultra Street Fighter IV. Why? Well, CAPCOM can say what it likes, but it is a no-brainer that re-skinning Cammy to look like Decapre is a low risk, high reward (more profit for less work) decision. But we digress. The point is even Ono, someone who works for CAPCOM and is closely associated with the Street Fighter franchise, could not get CAPCOM to adopt his wish–R. Mika in SFIV–with just his words. Do you need any more proof how ineffective a words-only approach to a company like CAPCOM can be?

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Bottom line: if you want a company like CAPCOM to take you seriously, it is wise to produce a high-quality prototype of your idea, support or team up with a group of people who are making one, or have something else really awesome up your sleeve, and, if you can, go talk to the company directly. Company employees–people–respond to the tangible, to a prototype, to face to face meetings–maybe. But it is almost a guarantee anything you type up for them in an e-mail or social media post  is just exercise for your fingers. Social media has allowed companies to create a false sense of connection with their fans. The fact we fans can type messages to companies on social media or through e-mail addresses creates the illusion that the company is listening and we as individuals are having some impact on the decisions the companies make. But in truth, for most companies, writing an e-mail or posting a comment on a their social media page in hopes of them making a decision to adopt your ideas is like banging your head against a rubber wall: you feel like you’re getting through, but you really aren’t.

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And yes, based on Joey Ansah’s experience, we realise, even with our globally-formed book in CAPCOM’s hands, CAPCOM may not accept the idea of Ryu/Chun-Li with open arms.

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But walking over to CAPCOM JAPAN and having a complete near 300-page Ryu/Chun-Li graphic novel full of story, art, mini-comics, and fan feedback from fans from all over the world for the CAPCOM employees to read before deciding whether or not to pass on Ryu/Chun-Li definitely makes for a stronger approach. And even if we do not succeed, people all over the world will still get our book, and it will be even better than it is now thanks to people who donate to make it so.

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And if after reading all this you’re thinking, “But a prototype costs money and time and needs skills I may or may not have!” Well, so does building a company. And if you want a company to respect you and listen to your ideas, you have to show them you are willing to work hard and sacrifice to build something as they have. Then maybe, just maybe, they’ll hear you out. And if you’re not willing to work hard and sacrifice then, reality check, you don’t really believe in your ideas enough for them to be worth anyone’s attention, even your own.

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If you really believe in Ryu/Chun-Li and want to see it happen, support the Ryu X Chun-li Project with your cash, art, or mini-comics because, unless you are going to produce a prototype of a greater Ryu/Chun-Li experience in the next 43 days and walk it over to CAPCOM as we are going to, we are the best shot the pairing has.

Poison, if you would…

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And that question is: if you are truly a Ryu/Chun-Li fan who wants to see CAPCOM produce something Ryu/Chun-Li in the future and you’re reading this, why isn’t your name already in our book? And if your name is in our book, why not do more to help Ryu/Chun-Li with us? Until Valentine’s Day 2015, our door is always open for more cash, art, and mini-comic donations. Or, beyond these, if you have an outside-the-box idea you’re willing to finance and execute in the name of Ryu/Chun-Li and would like to team up with us, we are willing to listen! A lone e-mail or social media comment of suggestions, wants or wishes to a company like CAPCOM, without a tangible mentally and visually stimulating prototype or something else awesome to show them, will accomplish nothing. But an e-mail with an offer of tangible support to us for our book– the first major Ryu/Chun-Li work of quality for the English-speaking world in decades, a book which has caused Ryu/Chun-Li fans from all over the world to unite, a book we are going to take to CAPCOM JAPAN directly and talk with the employees face to face about it, may very well do wonders.

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A wise person knows when to lead and when to follow, when to stand alone and when to be part of a team.

And we are always looking for more help for the Ryu/Chun-Li cause!

And we hope that help will be you!

ryuxchunliproject@gmail.com

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Sonic Evidence

Remember Sonic SATAM?

Making something out of nothing–the early Sonic games didn’t have much of a plot–Sonic SATAM had strong well-developed characters and an environmental message. Lasting two seasons, the story was picked up by Archie Comics where it has been ever since.

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Having a particular interest in the relationship of Sonic and Sally Acorn from the series, I kept a lazy eye on the story as Archie developed it, picking up the odd issue, reading the odd wiki, but eventually I just got too busy to give the story my attention. Still, I always hoped things would work out for Sonic and Sally.

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It wasn’t until a trip to New York this year (I met Tobey Maguire at FAO Schwartz–LUCKY!), and I walked into Midtown Comics on Lexington Avenue, that I stumbled upon this:

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Sonic Universe: 30 Years Later is a graphic novel that collects Sonic Universe Vol. 2 issues #5-8, and in it I found some closure. To quote the book:

True to his legendary speed, King Sonic was quickly crowned the new king of Mobius and wed [Queen Sally]. The support for the regime change was universal.

The book has a pretty good “What if…?” story that spotlights some classic Sonic SATAM characters, and a few new one’s, but best of all the story shows Sonic has matured, Sonic and Sally are happily married, and they have two children: Sonia and Manik. I wasn’t sure the ol’ Hedgehog (pushing 50 years old in the story) had it in him to be a King, but he did. There will always be more Sonic stories and shows to come, but Sonic Universe: 30 Years Later is this book that finally wrapped things up in the world of Sonic the Hedgehog for me, and I was glad to buy it.

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Archie Comics is a smart enough company to realise that producing Sonic Universe: 30 Years Later for the Sonic SATAM fans, a “What if…?” story where Sonic and Sally are finally together, will not bring Sonic’s house down. Instead, they saw the potential profit the story could earn from old-timer Sonic-SATAM fans like me with a four issue “What If…?” story that brings closure to the Sonic SATAM storyline, and gives the characters a bright, if a bit troubled, future.

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We intend to take Sonic Universe: 30 Years Later with us as an example of a successful pairing book doing no harm to the main story canon or characters when we head over to CAPCOM to make or case for Ryu/Chun-Li next year. If SEGA and Archie  see the potential profit in such a book, maybe CAPCOM and UDON will too.

More next time!

ryuxchunliproject@gmail.com

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Peace of Mind

Hey RXCLP fans,

We hope you’ve been enjoying the pre-launch reviews we’ve been posting on the blog. For the perceptive reader, these reviews have been far more than just teases for the book to come. They have been a source of peace for my worried mind.

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Since I started this project, I have been worried people would not enjoy the resulting book. All writers are insecure about this kind of thing. But slowly and surely, thanks to Patrick’s reviewKris’s reviewTony’s review  and Jason’s review, I see my co-writers, art teams, additional artists, and I have produced a quality story, and now I am far more confident the Street Fighter fan base will welcome the work. I am grateful to each of the gentlemen above, my good friends, for their words.

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Anouk’s review was particularly mind-easing because she is a Street Fighter fan, wasn’t a good friend of mine until very recently which made her more objective, and, she is a woman. Facebook, WordPress, and Youtube have been sensitive enough to show me the fan base for the RXCLP is primarily male, and I worried that we might not have created something a woman would enjoy–an upsetting thought based on what I have written previously and that one of our most frequent donators, a wonderful lady names Eva Miles,  is waiting for the absolutely finished book to rock her world. Our book certainly isn’t going to pass the Bechdel test any time soon, but it’s nice to know I have Anouk’s support at least. It’s a load off my mind.

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And of course there is also one more very important thing that is working to give me peace of  mind.  The book this project sought to produce exists. For so long I feared a Ryu/Chun-Li graphic novel of quality for the English speaking world would never be. But now it is. And in 60 days from the date of this blog entry, it will exist for you too.

It’s still not too late to get your name in this book as a true supporter of Ryu/Chun-Li for when I personally march this book up to CAPCOM Japan.

Here’s How:

More next time!

ryuxchunliproject@gmail.com

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Our Fifth Review!

I have been on Facebook a long time. I have many friends, but all are people I’ve encountered through on-line projects or in real life and then we became Facebook friends. But, for the first time ever, through Facebook I have made an actual friend. One I hold quite dear despite never having met her. After all, she, who was a complete stranger but days ago, is now counted among the people who have seen this book, my dream, and perhaps my magnum opus, before the rest of the world.

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Ryu X Chun-Li fans, I proudly present to you a review from a very special person living in the Netherlands. Anouk Rurup.

Anouk, the blog is yours.

Hey RXCLP fans,

I was proud and honoured to be invited to contribute to the Ryu X Chun-Li project. This is a project that I have been keeping an eye on for some time. I always appreciate it when people give their full 200% to the things that matter to them. That is true love. In my book that is a thing to respect and admire. No matter what part of the Street Fighter universe you love, or which head canon you thought out for yourself.

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Being relatively new to the Ryu X Chun-LI fan base, I wondered how the story would evolve around them as lovers. This, because usually the characters are seen pitted against each other in the game we all know and love. I agree with the way this book was done: the characters interacted with each other in a way that seemed natural and in character to me. The contents respectfully address other theories about character pairings as well. After seeing many heated discussions over which pairing is the correct one, this was very refreshing. The arguments provided in the storyline convinced and made things fall into place for me.

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I was impressed as I thumbed through the pages: by the artwork, the different art styles, and the storyline. To think many different people from all over the world worked on the book makes reading it an extra special experience. I put my feet up and took my time to study everything hidden into it. There are many details to feast your eyes on as you read: those small references included in the artwork that true fans of Street Fighter would spot and appreciate. I know I did.

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The story managed to keep my attention: in between are smaller comics that provide a little comic relief and a small break from the main story. These comics were a welcome addition: they leave room for more references that wouldn’t have fit with the plot but are fun to fans. These breaks also left my mind to wonder how the main story would continue on the following page.

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I was happy to see my favourite Street Fighter character play an important role in the main comic. I won’t give away who it is. But you’re in for a big surprise as far as his story is concerned! To be honest I didn’t expect there would be much spotlight for other characters besides Ryu and Chun-Li beforehand, but having read the book I have to correct myself there: I think all parts of the fandom have been taken into account. There is something for everyone in the book. There are characters and cameos from all different games in the canon.

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This book is not only a tribute to Ryu and Chun-Li, but to the entire Street fighter universe. That’s what makes it great. And I felt very much part of a team when I joined. Street fighter has brought me much love and friendship from a wide variety of world warriors, and still keeps doing so. For that I will always be thankful.

If you would like to get in on this wonderful book, here’s how:

More next time!

ryuxchunliproject@gmail.com

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Taking “No” for an answer

Yes, we know. Street Fighter V is on its way…

And we will talk about it soon. All we will say for now is once again, just like they did for Street Fighter X Tekken, Ryu and Chun-Li are the pair of characters CAPCOM reveals its new Street Fighter game with. Thanks CAPCOM for giving the RXCLP a boost by putting Ryu and Chun-Li together again in people’s minds as we move towards our February 14th, 2015 launch date. 😀

Now for the blog entry.

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As many of you know from counting the names on our page of gold, we currently have 41 artists (with more to come) that have donated single art pieces or mini-comics to our book’s appendices.

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Now compare that to the over 1000 requests we have sent out to people to see if they wanted to volunteer to help our project since we started it back on January 1st, 2013. Yep, over 1000. That’s how many.

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We’ve had a lot of people say no to us, ignore us, or say they are going to help, and then…they don’t.

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Do these “No”‘s sting? Yes, of course they do. But not as much as they used to. Why? because they have done three very important things for us. (Pay attention future entrepreneurs!)

1. We now have a tougher skin.

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Having all these people say no to us has made us fearless when it comes to asking more people to join the project. If someone says “no” now, we simply tell them:

No worries, thanks for replying. Our book will be released on February 14th, 2015 for free for the world. It will contain over 250 pages of new Street Fighter content from three published authors, three art teams, and over forty artists from all over the planet. People in over sixty countries are going to read it.  We hope you’ll check it out too!

Doing so reminds us how much we have accomplished and still will accomplish before our launch date next year. Add this to the fact we already have 41 amazing artists who believe in us with more to come, and somedays a “no” doesn’t sting at all. We just reply and move on to the next candidate.

2. We know who the real Ryu/Chun-Li fans are.

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Without a doubt, we are the greatest attempt at bringing Ryu/Chun-Li into the global consciousness for the English speaking world since the characters first appeared in 1991. Succeed or fail, we are going to get closer to CAPCOM with this pairing than anyone ever has. We are going to walk right over to CAPCOM Japan, put this professional quality book (with over 250 pages of 100% original art and story from all over the world with all the positive comments that will come after its release) in their hands, say our piece, and see what happens.  Any person who calls themselves a Ryu/Chun-li fan, has found our project, and has helped us with a blog entry, a cash donation, or a donation of a piece of art and/or a mini-comic, is wise enough to see that we are the real deal, and really wants the idea of Ryu/Chun-Li to make its mark on the world.

And finally…

3. Purity

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Whenever we get a “no”, it keeps this project pure. True Ryu/Chun-Li fans only. People who want to help us will do so. Nothing on this Earth will stop them. And those are the people we want with us when we go to CAPCOM. They are the people we started this project to find. And every day we hope you, if you haven’t joined us already, will be one of them.

And, for what it’s worth, even if CAPCOM decides not to act on Ryu/Chun-Li after we talk with them, the true Ryu/Chun-Li fans we have met through this project will still have our book to read–the greatest Ryu/Chun-Li experience to date–and nothing will change that.

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69 days until launch!

More next time!

ryuxchunliproject@gmail.com

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Just had to mark the day it happened.

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A piece of Ryu/Chun-Li art landed in our inbox today for the book that pays homage to a piece of Street Fighter cinematic history and is so…

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…we can hardly stand. And those of us who can stand are tripping over our jaws that have dropped to the floor. Awesome isn’t adjective enough…

 

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Valentine’s Day… 76 agonizing days until launch, but the wait will be worth it.

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If you call yourself a Ryu/Chun-Li fan and haven’t yet donated art, a mini-comic, or cash to get your name in our book, and ultimately decide not to, when you see the art we have received today, you will forever hold your head down in shame thinking…

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“I’m such a fool. I could have been a part of something great.”

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